Students qualify for regional, state, national choirs

January 23, 2009 — by Synthia Ling and Pia Mishra

Senior Christina Lauro looked at the faces of the two judges staring at her. She took a deep breath before she sang the first note of the Italian art song she had rehearsed for months. After finishing the song with a perfect pitch, she had to sight-sing 10 measures of music that she had never seen before. Following that, she listened to notes randomly played on the piano and sang them back. Finally she sang a major, minor, augmented and diminished triad, as well as a major and chromatic scale.

This long process is what Lauro and many other students went through for their audition for the Regional Honor Choir in early fall. Juniors Josh Liu, Thomas Denq, Bryant Bae, and seniors Jennifer Hansen and Lauro made it through the audition and earned a spot in the Regional Honor Choir. The Regional Honor Choir is the first level of prestigious choirs followed by State, then National Honor choir, that takes in between 800 to 900 students.

Hansen said she was aware of how tough the auditions would be.

“I began practicing in the summer until the auditions in October,” said Hansen. “All of us worked really hard.”

Yowell helps guide the students for their auditions, which require plenty of preparation.

“[Auditioning] takes time. You can’t just go ‘Oh yeah I’ll do it,’” said Yowell. “You do have to rehearse it and practice so you feel comfortable so you are not nervous. If you’re nervous, you certainly can’t do your best.”

Regional Honor Choir scores are also used to determine if the singers make it into State or National Honor Choir. Liu, Lauro, Hansen and Denq qualified for State. Junior Samantha Pack and Lauro made it into National Honor Choir.

“[National Honor Choir] only takes 200, so we have two from here in this school who made it, so it’s really an honor because you are thinking of thousands of people who tried out for it,” said Yowell.

Many of the students were extremely proud of their achievements.

“I was really excited to make it in. It’s really an honor to be able to sing along with the best in the state,” said Hansen.

“I think that it is really a reflection of them,” said Yowell. “They’re wonderful students in a sense they have a great desire to share music they love to sing.”